Brandon Lay has had a promising jumpstart to his career: he toured with big name Kenny Chesney on his Trip Around The Sun tour, had a couple singles hit country radio, and debuted at the Opry. To add a cherry on top, Lay and his wife welcomed their son Ryder, as well. We had a chance to chat with Brandon on his monumental 2018 and what’s to come in a hopeful 2019.
Brandon was named VEVO DSCVR ‘Artists To Watch,’ the only country artist nominated. He said that “it’s always cool to get those accolades and getting my music out there and use this platform to our advantage. With being the only country artist it was awesome to represent the genre in that capacity.” Lay accredits VEVO to shedding light on some of his songs that would have never saw the light if it weren’t for them.
Another huge platform for Brandon is SiriusXM satellite radio. He told us that many people discovered him through The Highway satellite station. Much like VEVO DSCVR, Lay has much appreciation for this radio streaming – “[The Highway] has a demographic of active country listeners… and they seem to be more likely to pay $10 to see me at a club in their hometown. So it’s really helped my career out.”
Aside from playing clubs in hometowns, Lay had the amazing opportunity to perform with mastermind Kenny Chesney on the 2018 Trip Around The Sun tour. When asked what that was like; Brandon said “it was definitely a learning experience and nobody is better at that forum than Kenny Chesney, not only on stage but off stage too. As a new artist, I wanted to get exposure and Kenny believed in me. It was a surreal summer and I hated that it had to come to an end.” Over the course of the five-month touring span, Brandon was able to take away something big; “when you’re a new artist people have never heard of, there is a lot pressure in trying to get them [the audience] to have a good time. I learned from Kenny how intimate his relationship is with his fans each and every night. And from that, I learned to be in the moment and give my best to the fans.”
Brandon also was welcomed into the legendary circle at the Opry in 2018 – a moment that every artist dreams of accomplishing. Lay was overwhelmed with emotions during his performance, for more reasons than one. He decided to top that important part of his career with the birth of his son, Ryder, just a few days before. “It was a lot! I’m all or nothing!” Lay laughed, “but it was really cool. I’m a believer and God has blessed me with a life way better than I deserve – and that was one of those moments where I felt that.” Congratulations, again, to Lay on both of these milestone accomplishments!
Brandon is working on a debut album, and fans can expect to hear a lot of story songs and live energy. “I got a bunch of songs that have been burnin’ a hole in my pocket that I’ve been waiting to release to the world,” and most of them will play off of honesty, who Brandon Lay is, and his attitude towards life. The process for writing a debut album vs. writing a debut single lies within the freedom that’s given. Lay is with Universal Music Group and he says that they have given him the artistic freedom to create however he wants to. He emphasized the fact that they haven’t tried to change anything, which for him is the best part. “You try to please everybody, but you don’t please everybody” is a statement that Lay reminds himself of as he’s creating new music. He acknowledges the adaptations needed to fit the bill, all while standing out.
He also has a European tour coming up this year, as well as playing at fairs and festivals starting around May. He says that this year of touring will much different than last year’s regimented, but exhilarating schedule with Kenny.
The main thing Lay wants out of 2019 is to gain more fans – one club at a time, one fair at a time. Brandon also wants everyone to join his email list because he’s sending out old demos, featuring a cut from one of Cole Swindell’s album. To stay up to date on all things Brandon Lay, follow him on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.